The Audi A6 Allroad is essentially a rough and ready version of the load-lugging Avant that traverses the middle ground between an estate and an SUV, and the Volkswagen Group's burgeoning range which includes the A4 Allroad, Golf Alltrack, Passat Alltrack, and Skoda Octavia Scout.
The Inglostadt off-roader-cum-estate we are trying here is the entry-level 201bhp 3.0-litre diesel, which is effectively a detuned version of the 268bhp version which is expected to represent the overwhelming majority of sales. Despite reduced running costs and a lower sticker price, the car we’re testing here will make up around seven per cent of all A6 Allroad sales. There is also a range-topping twin-turbo version producing 316bhp.
That’s surprising, because thanks to weight being reduced by around 20 per cent over the old car through the extensive use of aluminium, on-paper performance is impressive. It’ll reach 62mph in 7.5sec and reach a 139mph maximum while returning 46.3mpg on the combined cycle and emitting 159g/km of CO2.
The 3.0-litre V6 is mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. No manual option is offered. The A6 Allroad uses the same quattro all-wheel drive system as the standard A6, which splits torque 40/60 front to rear.
Standard air suspension with controlled damping allows the body to rise through 60mm from its lowest to highest setting and will adjust its ride height depending on speed.
The rough-and-tumble looks of the previous car have been toned down and the look is sleeker, which may or may not please customers. Part of the old car’s appeal was that it looked like it was capable of towing a horse box across a field (Audi says the equestrian market is a key one), while not having the controversial trappings of a proper SUV. Even so, in neither old nor new Allroad is the cladding likely to stand up to too much abuse from regular green-laning.
Certainly the versatility will suit the outdoor enthusiast markets; there’s 565 litres of boot space, growing to 1680 litres with the rear seats down, and the roof rails will carry up to 120kg. The 2500kg towing capacity is identical regardless of the powertrain. The new car is both wider and longer than the car it replaces.
There are also two trim levels to choose from - the Allroad and the Allroad Sport. The entry-level trim equips the rugged A6 with enough equipment to please with bi-xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, hill descent control, cruise control and a powered tailgate are all standard, while inside the Allroad gets Audi's MMI infotainment system with a 6.5in display, sat nav, DAB radio and a multimedia interface. There is also four-zone climate control, leather upholstery and heated front seats too.